cap’n cootes

On the occasions when I decide to take Plains Road into Hamilton from Burlington, I love taking that quick glance over across the bay towards Dundas. It’s a pretty picturesque view, all things considered, if you were to look to the opposite side of the T.B. McQuesten High Level Bridge the view would be of smoke stacks and steel mills. Truly I think the view of Cootes Paradise towards Dundas from the bridge is one of the more breathtaking views of Southern Ontario. You can see the curve of the escarpment, the marshy bay and what seems to be virtually untouched nature for miles and miles.

The Thomas B. McQuesten High Level Bridge was built during the 1930's. It was originally called Hamilton High Level Bridge before being renamed after Thomas McQuesten, who was an upstanding Hamilton citizen that resided in the historic Whitehern house.

view of Cootes Paradise from T.B. McQuesten Bridge

view of Princess Point from T.B. McQueston Bridge

Over the weekend we decided to get out an embrace the winter weather and take a walk through Cootes Paradise.

Mainly, I really wanted to get an up-close and personal look of the bay in its frozen solid form. I always notice the little silhouettes of people skating and playing hockey out on the bay in winter from the highway and I have these wistfull dreams that one day I might be that person down there skating away. Well, I currently don’t own skates and Omi being so little, I think we’re still a ways off from passing a puck around or doing double axels on that natural winter-made Ontario-bay ice.

So a winter walk it was… right through some of my favourite Hamilton landscapes.

Our walk began from the RBG Arboretum entrance. I duly noted that in the spring we would have to make a return visit to see the massive lilac garden (apparently the largest in North America). After a bit of meandering we finally found the Captain Cootes Trail that hugged the bay and away we went!

We tried to venture out on the bay for a little while. There was a couple with their dogs walking out on the ice so it was a sign that the ice was strong enough to hold. But when I ventured out and heard the ice crack under my feet I decided to play it safe. I’ve been told that the water on the bay is really shallow so it doesn’t take much of a cold snap to freeze it solid. I wasn’t taking my chances that day.

A bit ambitious to be out walking in the cold minus 10 degree whether. So when Omi’s little chubby baby cheeks were feeling cold and getting all rosied up, we called it a day and headed back.

moulin rouge

Since Jeff Feswick of Historia Restoration bought Treble Hall a few years ago (see my post on Treble Hall here) I have been waiting in great anticipation to see how this grand old beauty would be restored and who/what would occupy the street-level retail space once all shiny and refurbished.

On a regular basis I purposely detour my walks home to see the on-going progress of Treble Hall.

April 2011

June 2012

One rainy day I noticed that a set of red curtains and crystal chandeliers had appeared in the northern two storefronts of the building.

December 2012

January 2013

Moulin Rouge -a French inspired café and high-end boutique is soon to open its doors! I really, really hope that they have macarons and deliciously good croissants!

 

*Moulin Rouge -Café & Boutique, 10-12 John St. North, 905.220.2652

 

 

the needle emporium

So I’m not really a knitter. Which is precisely why I signed up for a toque knitting class at Needlework.

To prepare for the class I had to brush up a little on my knits and pearls and I also had to pick up some yarn.

A while back I posted about a knit store called Fire Ball Knits that was in Westdale, which has since closed up shop. So let it be known that downtown Hamilton does not have a knit shop (yet).  I’m sure it’ll be no time until someone gets in on this minor gap in the market of downtown knit shops. But until then the closest knit shop for me is in Ancaster at the Needle Emporium.

It was my first visit to the Emporium, and although I wasn’t able to explore in the shop for too long I did love that it was in old Ancaster. I got to take a nice winter scenic drive up the mountain and sneak some peaks at some of the old surrounding buildings on Wilson St. I loved the old stone building exteriors of many of the neighbouring shops.

 

old stone building -Masonic Lodge, Wilson St. East

Inside, The Needle Emporium is ram packed with a variety of wool in all different shapes, shades, textures and colours. It was a tight squeeze with Omi in a stroller walking amidst walls of yarn so I took just a quick look around, bought my required wool and headed back home.

I would like to come back another time to get a better look at their yarn selection. Once I get this whole ‘how to knit’ thing figured out I’m sure I”ll make a trip back up the mountain to pour over all my knit purchase options.

In the end I narrowed down my yarn selection for my toque to Madeline Tosh‘s hand-died yarn (in charcoal) or something a little brighter. In the past most of my toques have mostly been black so I thought I’d forgo the charcoal and opt for a super colourful ball of Drops Big Delight.

In hindsight I wished I’d gone for the Madeline Tosh. Once I successfully finish knitting my first ever toque I’ll be gunning back for the hand-died charcoal.

*The Needle Emporium, 420 Wilson St. East, Ancaster, 905.648.1994

a cameron cut

A while ago I was fortunate enough to win an amazing prize from the ladies from Sweet Ice Snow Cones. My prize included some super fab items like… a fabric pack from Needlework, a hot dog from Weenies, a Sweet Ice Snow Cone tote PLUS a snow cone AND a haircut from none other than Cameron Elder of Mckinnon Hair Design! It was such a stellar prize.

I’ve posted before about how I’m super lazy when it comes to “doing” my hair. I’ll grow it out long and then do nothing with it. I thought that if the only thing that I was going to do all winter was toss my hair in a pony and wear it in a hat then I might as well just chop off my unruly mop and have something a little more sassy and fun to sport around -right? Plus with the addition of little tiny baby Omi hands starting to reach and pull at my locks I figured it was time to cash in on that free Cameron Elder haircut.

I’d seen Cameron do some pretty sleek and arty haircuts during multiple art crawls in various James Street North storefront windows. I had even gotten a quickie $20 street cut from Cameron out front of O’s Clothes during Supercrawl, which I loved!  So I was pretty confident that although I am a mom and getting a short haircut I’d be guaranteed not to end up with a total mom cut.

Before the cut I showed Cameron a picture of a short hairstyle I’d been eyeing on Pinterest. He did a little consult with me asking me what were the particular features of the cut that I really liked.

I loved how Cameron did this because it made me reflect a little more about why I liked the cut and what I could potentially expect to get with a cut like this on my own head. It made me feel confident that we were on the same page.

I really liked how Cameron incorporated the shape and texture of the cut from the picture. It’s been super easy to take care of and it’s warmed me up to having short hair again. Perhaps the next cut I get I’ll go even shorter! Eeeek!

Thanks Cameron! I adore my new haircut!

You can follow Cameron on twitter @cameronelder but also be sure to check out his video -very cool.

 

*Mckinnon Hair Design, 111 Balsam Avenue South, 905.544.6601

3 months

Three months have come and gone and this little guy just keeps on growing -who knew.

Despite the winter I still manage to get out and about for walks and errands downtown and I am still absolutely loving spending my days with Omi and watching him grow and change so quickly.

He’s already starting to cut his first few little teeth and is drooling like a faucet (hence the bibs).

We’ve been fortunate to inherit most if not all of Omi’s clothes from various friends and have honestly not had to purchase a single piece of clothing yet. Lisa, Max and Dave thanks so much for providing this super cute outfit that Omi is sporting in this picture.

nesting

It’s no coincidence that Steve’s latest art show is called Nesting. Possible inspiration from his real life? He sure did a lot of nesting during the last few months. Before Omi’s arrival Steve threw himself into multiple reno projects building the appropriate cozy “nest” and home for us and the little guy.

I won’t talk too much about Steve’s work for the show because you should go check it out yourself. It does however involve a whole ton of pool noodles, a little bit of skipping rope and plywood.

The show is at Hamilton Artists Inc. in the member’s gallery. Steve’s work will be showing along side artist Teal Booth. In the main gallery you should also check out the exhibit Story Bones by established Canadian artist Jack Butler.

The opening is on Thursday, January 10th from 7-9pm and the exhibit will run until February 3rd. You can also check out more of Steve’s work here on his artist website: stevenewberry.com

*Hamilton Artists Inc. 155 James St. North

one for me…

During last month’s art crawl Needlework hosted a little mini market with the folks from Mint Textile Studio. There were some super cute handmade goods that were perfect for Christmas present giving. Like this super cute zipper pouch from Madrad. I actually bought it as a little gift for myself -shhh.

If you didn’t get a chance to check out Mint Textile’s Handmade Holiday Market at last month’s crawl try visiting them during this Friday’s art crawl on the third floor of the Sonic Unyon building at 22 Wilson Street.

During my rounds of the galleries I passed by this stuffed cat pillow. Meow. I bought it for $5 for my sister as part of her Christmas present to go along with the cat teepee I got her from White Elephant.

a first for everything

This year has been a first for many things; becoming parents, being married and now our very first Christmas tree. Steve and I aren’t crazy Christmas celebrators so we tend to slack in the decorating and yuletide spirit department. There was a lot of talk this year of getting a Charlie Brown inspired Christmas tree foraged from the forest. Instead I did a quick last minute pick up of a mini table-top tree with tree stand and everything. It was easy to transport and seemed to fit with the ease of our non comital Christmas mode.

With a few friends, some popcorn and cranberry garlands were strung. Being a mini tree it was in no time that it was all dolled up and decorated with the Christmas decorations I inherited from my parent’s from when we were kids.

These are two of my favourite glass Christmas balls. I feel like they don’t make them like they used to anymore; so delicate and beautiful.

A very merry Christmas to you all! Can’t wait until Christmas morning to have the traditional Narula Christmas morning feast!

 

balmy

With the weather being unseasonably warm this winter I’ve been trying to take advantage of getting out of the house. I’ve taken to going for a walk a day with baby in tow.

Considering November and December can be so drab it was nice to see little pops of colour along my walks.

313 Barton St. E

62 East Ave. S

East Ave. just north of King

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